Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (Hardback)
  • Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (Hardback)
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Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (Hardback)

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£90.00
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 05/01/2016
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Imagine a common movie scene: a hero confronts a villain. Captioning such a moment would at first glance seem as basic as transcribing the dialogue. But consider the choices involved: How do you convey the sarcasm in a comeback? Do you include a henchman's muttering in the background? Does the villain emit a scream, a grunt, or a howl as he goes down? And how do you note a gunshot without spoiling the scene? These are the choices closed captioners face every day. Captioners must decide whether and how to describe background noises, accents, laughter, musical cues, and even silences. When captioners describe a sound-or choose to ignore it-they are applying their own subjective interpretations to otherwise objective noises, creating meaning that does not necessarily exist in the soundtrack or the script. Reading Sounds looks at closed-captioning as a potent source of meaning in rhetorical analysis. Through nine engrossing chapters, Sean Zdenek demonstrates how the choices captioners make affect the way deaf and hard of hearing viewers experience media. He draws on hundreds of real-life examples, as well as interviews with both professional captioners and regular viewers of closed captioning. Zdenek's analysis is an engrossing look at how we make the audible visible, one that proves that better standards for closed captioning create a better entertainment experience for all viewers.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226312644
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 231 x 152 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Powerful. . . . Reading Sounds is clearly written and enjoyable. Commanding attention from sentence one, Zdenek builds a compelling argument not just that captions are interesting but also that captioners engage in significant rhetorical work."--Gregory Zobel "Technical Communication "
"Zdenek has not only broken new ground in the rhetorical analysis of closed captioning, he has also left no stone unturned in dissecting the different ways that captioners make rhetorical choices in describing sound--and more specifically, nonspeech sound--in textual form in television shows and movies. He has delivered a panoramic view of the rhetorical quality of closed captioning in popular media for scholars in technical communication, multimodal composition, disability studies, accessibility, and sound studies. Reading Sounds seems destined to be a foundational text that will be referenced by accessibility and caption scholars--starting with this reviewer--in the years to come."--Janine Butler "Rhetoric Review "
"This is a tremendously accessible book. Reading Sounds studies closed captioning in such a nuanced way that it should be required reading for anyone interested in the interface between technical communication or rhetoric and technology. Those who really care about how meaning is made through new media will want to read this book."--Jay Dolmage, author of Disability Rhetoric
"In Reading Sounds, Zdenek carves out entirely new rhetorical terrain focused on close examination of video captioning. After reading this book--even if you don't regularly make use of closed captions--you'll never experience captions the same way again. Zdenek ranges broadly, addressing the complex decisions made by captioners, the depth of cultural experience and resources necessary to produce quality captions, and the ways that readers read and respond to captions. Bridging rhetoric studies, sound studies, and multimedia studies, Zdenek's lively, accessible book creates a new vocabulary for thinking about the effects that captions have on the way we experience multimedia."--Stephanie Kerschbaum, University of Delaware

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